Numbers 1 and 2 headstocks at the former Hatfield Main Colliery


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
No.1 and No. 2 headstocks, Former Hatfield Colliery, Waggons Way, Stainforth, Doncaster, DN7 5TZ


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Statutory Address:
No.1 and No. 2 headstocks, Former Hatfield Colliery, Waggons Way, Stainforth, Doncaster, DN7 5TZ

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Doncaster (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:


Two sets of colliery headstocks of contrasting designs, built as a pair in 1922.

Reasons for Designation

The headstocks at the former Hatfield Main Colliery are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Rarity: once very common and emblematic features of mining areas, headstocks are now very rare nationally; * Historical: headstocks are the most readily recognisable structure of the coal industry, an industry of the very highest historical significance nationally; * Technology: the contrasting designs of the two sets of headstocks set side by side (lattice steel and reinforced concrete) is of special interest as they were both constructed at the same time to serve the same mine.


Hatfield Colliery was built by the Hatfield Main Colliery Company, initially to work the Barnsley seam, with its two shafts sunk between 1911 and 1921, work being interrupted by the First World War. The shafts were constructed using the Francois Cementation Process to overcome the difficulties posed by sinking through shifting sands and the very porous, waterlogged sandstone. Hatfield was the first mine in the country to employ this process which had been developed on the continent, shaft sinking was supervised at Hatfield by the inventor, Mr M Francois. The colliery went into production in 1921, using the shaft sinking headgear whilst the permanent headstocks and winding engine houses were being constructed, these completed in 1922. Number 1 Headstocks, for the downcast shaft, was constructed by Naylor Brothers Ltd. of Lancashire using lattice steel framing; Number 2, for the upcast shaft, was constructed by the colliery workers to the design by the Trussed Concrete Steel Company employing Kahn System ferro-concrete beams. Both headstocks were designed for twined, double-decker cages. The winding gear (including the headstocks) were described in detail in the Colliery Guardian published 6th October 1922. The lattice frame headstocks at Hatfield were used as an example of the type by G Poole in his 1935 treatise “Haulage and Winding”.

By the mid-1930s the colliery had been deepened to also work the High Hazel seam. The worst accident at Hatfield Colliery occurred in 1939 when the cage lifting miners in the upcast shaft overshot and crashed into the headgear, killing one and injuring fifty more.

Hatfield Colliery underwent modernisation in the 1970s with the conversion to electric winding. Number 1 Shaft was converted from tub to skip winding with the removal of its heapstead and the introduction of a conveyor, with the lower portion of the main legs of the lattice steel headstocks encased in concrete. The heapstead for Number 2 Shaft was also rebuilt although photographs published in the Colliery Guardian in 1922 suggest that this was a modification of the existing structure, rather than a complete rebuilding.

The colliery was closed by British Coal in 1993, the RCHME carrying out a rapid historic building recording survey of the complex in 1994. Hatfield was reopened under different ownership in 1994 and worked through until final closure in June 2015, the shafts being subsequently in-filled.


Two sets of colliery headstocks, 1922 with later alterations.

LAYOUT The two shafts are centred approximately 75m apart, the headstocks being arranged parallel to each other, wound from the north west.

NUMBER 1 HEADSTOCKS (west, upcast shaft – primary coal drawing shaft) This is constructed of steel lattice beams with steel plates strengthening the junctions between the beams, all set on a concrete raft foundation. The lower 6-7m of the main legs above the shaft are encased in concrete, retaining scaring of a removed upper landing. The feet of the backstays are also encased in concrete, this thought to have been part of the original design. The headstocks stands to 105 feet (c.32m) high to the pit-wheel axles, the two pit wheels being of 20 feet (c.6m) diameter.

NUMBER 2 HEADSTOCKS (east, downcast shaft – primary man-riding shaft) This is of Kahn system, steel reinforced concrete construction, the tower above the shaft being concrete sided. Built around the base of the headstocks, partially encasing the backstay legs, is the two storey concrete framed and brick panelled heapstead which is lined internally with shuttered concrete for airtightness. The heapstead was rebuilt in the 1970s, although the concrete framing appears newer than that of the backstays, 1922 photographs indicate that the arrangement of the framing is little altered. The main entrance to the heapstead is to the west via twin airlocks with steel doors approached by two 24 inch gauge lines for mine tubs. The headstocks rise to nearly 107 feet (c.37m) to the pit-wheel axles, the two pit wheels being of 20 feet (c.6m) diameter.

EXCLUSIONS As stated above, structures beyond the blue line on the attached map do not form part of the listed building; these exclusions comprise (but are not limited to) the heapsteads, the fan house, the powerhouse and the winding engine houses.


Books and journals
G Poole, , Haulage and Winding, (1935), 355-357
"Winding Gear at Hatfield Main Colliery" The Colliery Guardian (6th October 1922)
Historic Building Report: Hatfield Colliery, Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, March 1994


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

The listed buildings are shown coloured blue on the attached map. Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’), structures attached to or within the curtilage of the listed building (save those coloured blue on the map) are not to be treated as part of the listed building for the purposes of the Act.

End of official listing

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